Language Learning: Take Your Studies Behind the Wheel
Last week I uncovered 3 ways to squeeze a little extra language learning into your day. This week I am going to help you put that into practice with the chance to win a copy of the Behind the Wheel audio learning system.
Behind the Wheel: Spanish Level 1 came my way a few weeks ago. I studied Spanish in high school and have tried to study it again since, but I am by no means fluent.
Mark Frobose, the founder of Behind the Wheel, claims that it is the “fastest, easiest, and most effective Spanish course on the market.” I can’t really speak to that as I have not tried every program out there, but I will say he took a very different approach than I have seen before. It was almost conversational.
I stuck the first disc into my car so Dek and I could give it a listen on our way to swim class one morning. I’ll admit it threw me off at first. I am so used to a very structured repeat after me approach to audio language courses that I wasn’t sure what to do when this guy started talking to me from the disc. It’s like he wanted to have a chat with me in a language I couldn’t really understand.
Here’s How It Works
A native English speaker talks with a native Spanish speaker. The English speaker starts out asking simple questions like “What is your name?” and the native speaker repeats it in Spanish- “¿Come te llamas?” They then go into how to respond to such questions in different ways using a whole lot of vocabulary.
It was not simply doing drills. I was learning how to have a conversation and build on the vocabulary and phrases I was learning.
There was a lot of repetition in the course as well, a bonus in my world as I often have to turn my attention to answer a never-ending stream of toddler questions. Too often in language programs I am given a phrase, told to repeat it twice and then we move on. In Behind the Wheel we did the “repeat two times” approach, but after moving on we came back through and tried it all again before moving onto the next section. I saw how my sentences were building on each other and then got to put it into practice.
A 110-page book accompanies the 8 language discs. In the back is a full transcription of what was learned on the discs, but that only takes up 22 pages. The rest of the book goes chapter by chapter through the discs emphasizing the vocabulary you have already been learning in your car.
What I Loved
The language is broken down into easy to remember, conversational chunks. My favorite part of the audio program is when the English speaker tells me just how many sentences I can build now with the words and phrases I have learned. Before the end of the first disc I had learned over 400 phrases! Now that is pretty impressive.
I also love that the founder is not unrealistic. He does not claim you will be fluent after listening to the program once. It takes effort and a lot of repetition and reinforcement. After all, none of us learned how to ride a bike in a day. It takes practice, falling down and getting right back up and trying again. The same is true when learning a new language. You need to practice, repeat, make mistakes, learn from them and try again.